California State University Retools General Education Courses
Emphasis to be on broadening studentsí disciplinary exposure, critical and analytic skills
(July 1, 2008) – In an effort to enhance student learning, the California State University had established new guidelines for general education requirements that provide broad exposure to many disciplines and focus on crucial skill sets needed for the global economy. CSU’s faculty and administrators have relied in part on the Liberal Education and American Promise (LEAP) campaign, an initiative of the Association of American Colleges and Universities to develop the new guidelines. Each CSU campus will organize its general education requirements around four main categories of student learning outcomes:
“Incorporating the LEAP framework into our general education curriculum should help students to more clearly focus on the skills, abilities, and attitudes necessary not only for success in the classroom, but also in their careers, as they engage in lifelong learning, and as they become community leaders,” said John Tarjan, chair of the Academic Senate CSU and former chair of the system’s General Education Advisory Committee. “The current structure of our general education program, which provides students with an exposure to the physical and life sciences, the social sciences and the arts and humanities, is largely unchanged. What has changed is an increasing expectation that we emphasize not only what students know but how they analyze, communicate and integrate knowledge.”
Using the framework of the learning outcomes, each CSU campus will be able to design its general education courses to help students achieve the LEAP outcomes. This will result in greater consistency in course assessment and measures of student learning.
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 450,000 students and 46,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu
Last Update: July 01, 2008